(Topic ID: 240439)

Can my floor support a pinball machine collection?


By Mistermoberg

6 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 43 posts
  • 33 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by KoolFingers
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

You

Topic poll

“Well, is it?”

  • Yeah, you’re fine. 6 votes
    33%
  • Maybe not 10. 2 votes
    11%
  • Less than 5. 10 votes
    56%

(18 votes)

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#1 6 months ago

Maybe it’s my anxiety, but it’s concerning. This thought didn’t occur to me until today for whatever reason.

My new home was built in 1800. It’s a big sucker at 3800 square feet, and was commercial for quite a duration of time. Technically, it still is - it’s a three family. My apartment is the whole right side, the other side has two apartments, one first floor, one second floor.

Anyways - I want to fill my first floor with pins. About 10 or so. At an average weight of 250lbs each - that totals 2500 pounds.

3-4 in each room, so a 9x12 room would have approximately 750lbs of pin plus 400 pounds of other stuff and then Eric and a potential guest and around 500 lbs. That totals 1650 lbs of stuff not including walls and floors and such.

According to modern building codes - a floor should be rated for 30-40 lbs per square foot, ergo, the room in the example would be able to support 3,240-4,320 lbs.

However, this home isn’t modern. It’s a Fieldstone foundation and it’s difficult to describe the floor underneath. I attached a couple photos.

There was also a support here when I bought the place - photo attached.

Excuse the hideous plumbing and wiring - it’s all getting fixed/replaced.

In short - is my floor gonna cave in? Please no jokes here guys.

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15
#2 6 months ago

No jokes? Get an engineer.

#3 6 months ago
Quoted from jfesler:

No jokes? Get an engineer.

Yeah, that’s probably what I should do.

#4 6 months ago

Yup, you need a structural engineer. A good one will come out and measure the depths, spacing, and lengths of the beams and give you an estimate of the allowable floor loads.

#5 6 months ago

I’m not an engineer but I watch HGTV so I can talk like one

#6 6 months ago

2 maybe

#7 6 months ago

How many tote bags?

rd

#8 6 months ago

I currently have 4 machines covering a Six foot buy 12 foot space 72 sq ft on average they weigh less than 250lbs 1000 lbs total.
so 1,000 lbs divided by 72sq ft is a live load of 13.8 lbs per sq ft normal construction should have no problem supporting as many pinball machines as you can put in the room. All that being said looking at those structural pictures have an engineer look at it.

#9 6 months ago

I notice you mentioned the first floor. Is there a basement below?

#10 6 months ago

No way, not like that. Or atleast I wouldn't without adding some more structure to that floor.
My floor feels better after adding a couple 4x4's across the beams with adjustable metal supports. Nothing permanent incase I ever sell the house and move to warmer climate.
-Mike

#11 6 months ago

The problem with a wooden floor and wooden support beams is that you can't look inside them: it might still be as strong as when it was installed, but it also could have sufferd from wood rot, woodworm, etc. As others said: a structural engineer could come in handy.

#12 6 months ago

Hey everybody - really appreciate those who have chimed in. The split responses in the poll reinforce the idea that I need a structural engineer.

Quoted from rotordave:

How many tote bags?
rd

One tote bag for every good shot on Thunderbirds - one.

Quoted from Judoratt:

I currently have 4 machines covering a Six foot buy 12 foot space 72 sq ft on average they weigh less than 250lbs 1000 lbs total.
so 1,000 lbs divided by 72sq ft is a live load of 13.8 lbs per sq ft normal construction should have no problem supporting as many pinball machines as you can put in the room. All that being said looking at those structural pictures have an engineer look at it.

I wish the basic rule applied, there would be no issues, but with the age of the house, I'm a bit worried.

Quoted from Daditude:

I notice you mentioned the first floor. Is there a basement below?

There is. That's where I went to take those photos. Not finished obviously.

Quoted from Grizlyrig:

No way, not like that. Or atleast I wouldn't without adding some more structure to that floor.
My floor feels better after adding a couple 4x4's across the beams with adjustable metal supports. Nothing permanent incase I ever sell the house and move to warmer climate.
-Mike

That may be something I do as well - with or without 10 pins.

Quoted from RobDutch:

The problem with a wooden floor and wooden support beams is that you can't look inside them: it might still be as strong as when it was installed, but it also could have sufferd from wood rot, woodworm, etc. As others said: a structural engineer could come in handy.

Another great point. Some beams look better than others.

#13 6 months ago

UPDATE:

I'm having an architect come out to look at the place - he says he can give me a really solid estimate of what I need - and it should be less than $400. A lot of money but totally worth it.

EDIT UPDATE:

Is an architect the right move or should I go for a full fledged structural engineer?

#14 6 months ago

I would not be surprised if it’s more robust than modern construction. Look at those frickin logs. Let us know what the pro says.

#15 6 months ago

I think you need a structural engineer. Someone that is used to remodels and working with older buildings. Call around and describe your issue. See what they say and go from there. Just be prepared. You could be opening a can or worms getting an old building up to code.

#16 6 months ago
Quoted from Mistermoberg:

UPDATE:
I'm having an architect come out to look at the place - he says he can give me a really solid estimate of what I need - and it should be less than $400. A lot of money but totally worth it.
EDIT UPDATE:
Is an architect the right move or should I go for a full fledged structural engineer?

Architects and engineers are not the same. One makes structures look nice, the other makes sure structures don't fall down.

#17 6 months ago

I am not an engineer but if having 200+ lb human males standing and moving around on your floor doesn't cause it to cave or bow, pinball machines are unlikely to be a problem. It is more about weight distribution than absolute weight as that will get you first. When just standing, a majority of our weight is on our heels and the area of your heel is fairly comparable to a pinball machine foot. Stepping and shifting temporarily increases the load due to deceleration forces when striking the floor. So you can have easily have loads of well over 100 lbs on a human heel temporarily and frequently while the more static (and therefore less stressful) load of a pinball foot is going to be less than 80 lbs. I wouldn't take my advice over an engineer but I was just explaining my thoughts.

#18 6 months ago

I always wanted to be an engineer when I was little. Choo choo!! Chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga.....

I was gonna throw out a bunch of mathematical equations but decided to go "fun" instead.

#19 6 months ago

Sell off your collection fast and cheap! Safety first.

#20 6 months ago
Quoted from Mistermoberg:

UPDATE:
I'm having an architect come out to look at the place - he says he can give me a really solid estimate of what I need - and it should be less than $400. A lot of money but totally worth it.
EDIT UPDATE:
Is an architect the right move or should I go for a full fledged structural engineer?

You don’t need an engineer.
Start with the architect as planned.
You just need some simple floor load calculations base on a visit to your site to check the spans of the joists ,beams and the posts/footings below them.
As a general condition test,can you feel the floor move beneath you as you walk down the center of the room you intend to use? You should be concerned if it does.

#21 6 months ago

I would be more concerned with your wiring than the floor.

#22 6 months ago
Quoted from Mistermoberg:

UPDATE:
I'm having an architect come out to look at the place - he says he can give me a really solid estimate of what I need - and it should be less than $400. A lot of money but totally worth it.
EDIT UPDATE:
Is an architect the right move or should I go for a full fledged structural engineer?

Architect = Dreamer
Engineer = Doer

Consult an Engineer...

#23 6 months ago

Another update: This has been a whirlwind.

My FHA rehab consultant came out this morning - luckily, he used to be an engineer.

He gave me a very quick assessment - the verdict - I’m fine.

As a matter of fact - more than fine. He stated that I may be able to hold 100 pounds per square foot. (Not gonna try that, but that’s what he said.)

Why? Well, the floor in here is solid as a first. Doesn’t move or bow. A little slanted in one spot, but it settled and it is solid.

Secondly, (photo attached) the way things are connected are stronger than modern constructions.

I asked him about 10-12 machines and he said no problem. 10-12 machines plus 10-12 people might become problematic however.

Curious for people to still chime in, but I’m cancelling the architect.

Quoted from glasairpilot:

I would be more concerned with your wiring than the floor.

Everything has been/will be updated.

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#24 6 months ago
Quoted from Mistermoberg:

I asked him about 10-12 machines and he said no problem. 10-12 machines plus 10-12 people might become problematic however.

Hmm... what if you have a few guests and everyone is playing the pins?

#25 6 months ago
Quoted from Mistermoberg:

UPDATE:

I'm having an architect come out to look at the place - he says he can give me a really solid estimate of what I need - and it should be less than $400. A lot of money but totally worth it.

EDIT UPDATE:

Is an architect the right move or should I go for a full fledged structural engineer?

We had our house earthquake retrofitted last year. Based on the details that I reviewed, this type of "behind the scenes" type work might be best handled by a structural engineer, but there is certainly some overlap between structural engineer and architect.

Regardless of what way you go, if you get a consult, I'd be interested to know the result. We don't have houses from 1800 in Seattle.

#26 6 months ago
Quoted from Mistermoberg:

My FHA rehab consultant came out this morning - luckily, he used to be an engineer.

He gave me a very quick assessment - the verdict - I’m fine.
Secondly, (photo attached) the way things are connected are stronger than modern constructions.
I asked him about 10-12 machines and he said no problem. 10-12 machines plus 10-12 people might become problematic however.

Thanks for the followup. Very nice. But I guess just don't have big parties?

#27 6 months ago
Quoted from Gornkleschnitzer:

Hmm... what if you have a few guests and everyone is playing the pins?

Luckily I have no friends. Remember ToteGate?

#28 6 months ago

That floor is a lot stronger than it looks. You shouldn't have a problem.

#29 6 months ago

What a cool midieval themed game room you could have in that basement! Problem solved.

#30 6 months ago
Quoted from Pinballlew:

What a cool midieval themed game room you could have in that basement! Problem solved.

If only I could afford a MM Remake.

#31 6 months ago

The photo with the insulation wrapped pipe, would that be asbestos? Also is that knob and tube wiring? Is the wiring live? Those are questions I would add to any other inquiries.

A freezer exerts more weight per square inch than a pinball machine, just saying.

#32 6 months ago
Quoted from Darcy:

The photo with the insulation wrapped pipe, would that be asbestos? Also is that knob and tube wiring? Is the wiring live? Those are questions I would add to any other inquiries.
A freezer exerts more weight per square inch than a pinball machine, just saying.

Those are 100% asbestos wrapped pipes. You should pay the pros to come out and remove all that shit and stay far away from it and never mind the other engineers.

As for your floor, I wouldn’t panic. That house was built less than 20 years after the Revolutionary War. Pins are not going to do anything to your floor unless you took all ten and stacked them in the middle and then you’d still probably have no problem.
You’re good.

#33 6 months ago
Quoted from Mistermoberg:

Can my floor support a pinball machine collection?

I have a different problem. My floor can support a pinball machine collection, but my wallet can't.

#34 6 months ago

Wow, I would definitely meet with an engineer or architect.

After looking at your photos, building a collection of pinball machines would not be my immediate focus.

#35 6 months ago

I am not giving you professional advise, repeat, I am not giving you professional advise. It cannot be construed as such.

I am an engineer. First off, I would imagine any structural defects in those hand hewn joists and columns would have shown themselves by now, assuming they are sound/termite free/etc. That's old growth wood, broski. I would also imagine any defects would have been discovered by your (assuming) competent home inspector, considering you just bought the house.

I would not waste the money. You will never even come close to exceeding the live load for that floor. Considering parking garage decks are designed for 40 psf these days, you'll never come close.

You even math, bruh?

#36 6 months ago
Quoted from Darcy:

The photo with the insulation wrapped pipe, would that be asbestos? Also is that knob and tube wiring? Is the wiring live? Those are questions I would add to any other inquiries.
A freezer exerts more weight per square inch than a pinball machine, just saying.

It is asbestos, yes. Not concerned with it - it’s wrapped really well. The knob and tube has been cut, breakers are in. Some actual wires are getting replaced as well.

Quoted from shacklersrevenge:

As for your floor, I wouldn’t panic. That house was built less than 20 years after the Revolutionary War. Pins are not going to do anything to your floor unless you took all ten and stacked them in the middle and then you’d still probably have no problem.
You’re good.

I appreciate the input man - crazy when you age my house close to The Revolutionary War - super cool. It’s the old house I’ve always wanted.

Quoted from Grandnational007:

I am not giving you professional advise, repeat, I am not giving you professional advise. It cannot be construed as such.
I am an engineer. First off, I would imagine any structural defects in those hand hewn joists and columns would have shown themselves by now, assuming they are sound/termite free/etc. That's old growth wood, broski. I would also imagine any defects would have been discovered by your (assuming) competent home inspector, considering you just bought the house.
I would not waste the money. You will never even come close to exceeding the live load for that floor. Considering parking garage decks are designed for 40 psf these days, you'll never come close.
You even math, bruh?

Not professional advice or consultation - got it.

Never had a home inspection, bought the place at auction, without any professional inspection or perspective.

My FHA consultant definitely put my mind at ease this morning though.

#37 6 months ago

Always, always use a structural engineer!

#38 6 months ago

Glad you got your situation figured out. Looking at your pics I would have said you’re fine but would recommend an engineer if you need absolute assurance. I’m a general contractor that specializes in structural remodeling and have been thru architectural school. I can’t do the technical calculations that a structural engineer can do so an architect would be pointless probably. Also if you did have an engineer out they should give you a stamped report since you’re paying them that you can keep in your files if you were to sell the home later.

#39 6 months ago
Quoted from Grizlyrig:

No way, not like that. Or atleast I wouldn't without adding some more structure to that floor.
My floor feels better after adding a couple 4x4's across the beams with adjustable metal supports. Nothing permanent incase I ever sell the house and move to warmer climate.
-Mike

That is exactly what I would do. Nothing permanent. But extra security. You are fine though.

#40 6 months ago

Okay, I’ll be the guy that asks.

Any ghosts?

#41 6 months ago
Quoted from Mudflaps:

Okay, I’ll be the guy that asks.
Any ghosts?

Are they pinball players?

#42 6 months ago
Quoted from Onwallst:

Are they pinball players?

I'll ask them tonight.

-1
#43 6 months ago

Not sure, as the pics (I'm going on pic #2) aren't that clear, but the white insulation on the pipe(s) look to be asbestos. You may want to have that checked.

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